Edit: updates added to this system are shown further down the thread
Here is my tiny Skylake build:Case: Raijintek Metis
Controversial perhaps. Pretty much every review of the Metis has slated it for it's cooling however time and time again the reviews make a silly mistake running the CPU cooler right opposite the PSU fan, each fighting each other for air. That just won't work. It's more of a damning of their own review technique than the case itself. I have a way around this: use a passive PSU and let the air be drawn backwards through it.
I had for an awful long time been set on using the NCASE M1 for this build however the arguments for each case made it obvious:
- Smaller size, although it's advertised at 12.6L when including the feet it comes to 13.12L versus the 13.36L of the Metis.
- Readily available for next day delivery from multiple retailers
- Completely modular, you can dismantle everything
- Allows up to 160mm CPU heatsink and wider graphics card heatsinks
- Steel backplane and motherboard tray add rigidity
- Doesn't waste space on water cooler or optical drive support
- Costs £36
- that's literally 20% of what I'd have to pay to get an M1 imported into the UKPSU: Seasonic X-400 (reused)
This PSU is only 3 and half years old, Gold rated and passive so I was going to use it. It's a tight squeeze in a small case at 160mm deep but being fully modular helps.Motherboard: Asus Z170i Pro Gaming
A stupid name but a very nice little motherboard. I was set on Asus for the quality of their fan control plus I needed M.2 and DDR4 support.CPU: i5-6400
No great surprises, it costs about what I wanted to spend.CPU cooler: Scythe Ninja 4
At 155mm tall you can't fit one of these in an M1 but you can in the Metis. The rear 120mm fan slot is just in the right place to act as an exhaust but I chose to dump the stock Raijintek and put the included Glidestream there instead so that the cooler works under negative pressure and modded the Ninja mounting system to enable the cooler to be nudged about 2mm further back until it butted up right against the fan.
Here is it part assembled:
Yes, the Ninja 4 really does take up that much of the system!RAM: 2x4Gb Kingston HyperX Rage DDR4 2400MHz
8Gb is plenty for now plus the motherboard supports 2x16Gb so if ever I upgrade in a few years it will be to 32Gb, not 16Gb. The 2400 was actually 7p cheaper than the 2133 for some reason, hence I went for it.Storage: Crucial MX200 M.2 2260DS 250Gb
I was very set on M.2 and this size is OK for me for now.Graphics card: Zotac GTX 950
This is a fairly basic GTX 950. I needed a 170mm long PCB because of the size constraints of the case and I tend to change coolers anyway so the included cooler doesn't bother me much.Edit: Subsequently reviewed by SPCR - http://www.silentpcreview.com/Zotac_GeForce_GTX_950OS: Arch Linux x86-64
Here are things coming together:
...and finished connected to my existing SM245B monitor:
The CPU cooling results of the Ninja 4 are amazing and give idle temps of around 28-29C even with the Glidestream fan switched to low mode and running of the PWM header at around 300rpm idle. I had to lower the CPU low speed warning in the BIOS to 200rpm to enable it to boot reliably! Under stress testing the highest CPU temp seen was 50C.
Unfortunately with this being such a new motherboard support for the sensors isn't great in Linux yet, probably a new kernel update will fix this. At present I can only see the fan speed in the BIOS so have no idea of load fan speeds (probably about 500-600rpm I think) as lm_sensors doesn't detect it plus there are two jammed ACPI temperatures always showing. A kernel update and rerunning sensors-detect may improve this.
Graphics card cooling is a mixed bag. While the fan doesn't normally start at idle and only starts at 61C, sometimes it starts of it's own accord at lower temps and it won't switch off until it's back down to around 40C. The lowest speed supported is 1200rpm which is noticeable but under load I have seen 77C in Unigine Heaven at which point the fan was doing 90% speed at 2700rpm which was loud.
Noise wise without the graphics card spinning the system is virtually silent. The 300rpm fan can not be noticed over the gentle buzzing of other components. If anything the loudest component is the 100Hz buzzing of the monitor which I never noticed before. The ticking of the clock in the next room is also very audible now!
There are a few future improvements I am thinking of:
- Some recabling work. I only have 7 cables in the whole case but I could add a few extra holes around the back of the motherboard and the PSU so tidy some of these away better, clearing more space around the top of the PSU.
- Fan replacement with something better than the Glidestream? Would need to be able to do the same low RPMs. I could also double the fans up into a push pull arrangement as there is just
enough room between the PSU and the Ninja 4 for a 25mm thick fan.
- Graphics cooler replacement. I could mod an Accelero S1 Plus/S3 to fit passively or use a slow spinning fan on top to push air through it, possibly combined with a case mod to add ventilation to the top of the case.
- Heatsinks for the M.2. There has been some testing showing that M.2 drives can get very hot and start throttling, I've seen 50C idle which is quite typical. Will need to do some research to see if this particular drive starts throttling in normal use. It could probably do with a couple of small RAM sinks stuck to it and I'm sure I can find some in my collection of spares.
Hope you like the build and let me know if you have any comments.